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6 Ways to Grow Your Art Network

To make your art a successful business, you can't simply create it and hope it sells - Try these six tips for growing your art network.

To make your art a successful business, you can't simply create it and hope it sells. It's important to network so many people know about your work and can share it with others. Plus, you can meet some cool people that you may want to collaborate with. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of jobs are found through networking. Try these six tips to grow your art network and gain valuable friends and business connections:

1. Attend events
A great way to get to know more artists and creatives is to attend gatherings. Go to gallery openings, film screenings, art classes and readings. You don't have to limit yourself to just events that are in your field of art either - check out whatever interests you. When you're there, talk to attendees and the artists involved. Share contact information so you can find each other online and perhaps become business associates. Visit artist residencies, head to juried art shows and promote your art business with your physical presence. 

2. Create a personal brand
It can be helpful to have a distinct, branded look to make all your social media profiles and marketing materials appear cohesive. Choose a color theme for your personal brand and create a logo to use on websites, social media and paper marketing items like flyers. This will give you a recognizable universal appearance, even when your profile photos change. 

Your marketing materials, business cards and websites should all have a uniform color scheme and logo. This makes your personal brand easily identifiable between platforms.

3. Bring business cards
Be sure to bring along business cards wherever you go so you can easily share contact information with people you meet. Don't be afraid to talk to other event attendees or even the artists themselves. This is a great opportunity to meet people to collaborate with or even share tips. 

4. Network online
A strong online presence can make or break your art business and grow your audience. It's important to make your art visible to the masses. Not everyone will be able to attend a gallery in-person, but they can click on your website or social media profile to take a look. Thalo is a great place to upload your personal art gallery so others can view it. 

5. Update your profiles

"Update your online profiles frequently."

If you want to grow your art network, be sure to update your online profiles frequently. That can mean adding new images of your latest pieces or even sharing your thoughts about cool shows you attended. This is also a great place to talk about artists and makers that you enjoy and find inspiring. Not only will it help people understand where your art is coming from, it can also bring new people to look at your site, and potentially purchase your artwork or commit to an art commission contract. Consider making profiles for several websites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Thalo and Twitter.  Include a biography of who you are and describe your art form. Pick a profile photo that represents you best, and be sure to include contact information in case someone wants to get ahold of you. Include links to your other profiles so a new fan can easily "like" and follow you elsewhere as well. 

6. Follow through
If you meet someone interesting at an event, don't let the conversation end when the night is over. Instead, be sure to exchange contact information so you can talk in the future. Add that person on social media and consider arranging to meet with them in person for coffee or to hangout. You could be gaining a friend as well as a valuable networking connection that may help you grow your art presence.